3 CPM workers killed in Nandigram violence
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Three CPI(M) supporters were killed and 20 seriously injured as violence erupted once again in Nandigram on Tuesday as armed party cadres made a desperate bid to recapture lost ground. The three were killed in a landmine blast early on Tuesday morning. Seven others were seriously injured.
The blast occurred at Mansher chawk in Khejuri. Superintendent of Police (east Midnapore) S S Panda said Tushar Shaw, Nirapada Manna and another person were killed in the explosion. Though the district CPI(M) leadership claimed that the landmine was planted by Naxalites operating in the area, the police did not confirm the allegation.
Meanwhile, it was a bloody day in Nandigram on Tuesday, as CPI(M) cadres re-wrote the actual line of control here after ousting villagers, who were fighting under the banner of Bhumi Ucched Protirodh Committee (BUPC).
Talking to mediapersons, state Home Secretary, Prasad Ranjan Roy said: "Nandigram has turned into a battlefield." Making a tacit admission that the Left party was out there to recapture its lost territory in Nandigram, Roy said nearly 500 police personnel have been sent there, but will be deployed only if the situation so demanded.
According to eyewitnesses, personnel of state armed police and Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) were present in the area, but the administration made sure that they do not figure in "Operation Recapture". It was largely motorbike-borne armed cadres from both sides who fought with each other.
An EFR jawan, Pradeep Tamang, was caught in the crossfire and hit by a bullet near Tekhali bridge. He was taken to Nandigram hospital. RAF and EFR reinforcements were sent to Tekhali area, but the armed police forces did not enter the disturbed villages, Panda added.
Later in the day, the clash between the two sides spread. The CPI(M), after a fierce gunbattle, captured four areas — which were earlier under BUPC domination.
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